Meeting the challenges of natural hazards in the wake of the tsunami disaster


  • Soroosh Sorooshian


In the wake of the 26 December 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami, it is natural to ask ourselves what we could have done as scientists to help prevent or minimize the impact of this disaster. It is imperative, however, also to ask ourselves what we should be doing to mitigate the adverse impact of the next calamity.

AGU's Committee on Public Affairs, which I chair, is charged with advocating the contents of AGU position statements, one of which is entitled Meeting the Challenges of Natural Hazards. In that statement, AGU calls for three basic activities to reduce our vulnerability to natural disasters: (1) fundamental research on Earth and space, and monitoring of natural hazards; (2) dissemination of the relevant results to the public, especially vulnerable communities; and (3) implementation of multidisciplinary efforts needed to apply effective mitigation strategies worldwide.